5 Development Projects to Watch in 2023 and Beyond

Senior living development is diminished in 2023 — but it is not dead.

Across the country, senior living companies are still finding ways to forge ahead with new development projects even amid challenges related to financing and construction. But the challenges of this year have pushed these companies to become even more bold and creative in chasing new markets and innovating for future generations.

From senior living communities coming together with Big Ten universities to the latest trends in adaptive reuse, here are five senior living projects worth keeping an eye on in 2023 and beyond:


McNair’s first Varcity community at Purdue University

McNair Living’s new Varcity brand is “flipping the paradigm” on university-based senior living communities with a model focused on developing intergenerational communities on or very near notable universities’ campuses. The model goes a step further by securing logo and naming rights from schools — a key to differentiating it from other university-based retirement communities.

The first Varcity community is currently coming together with Indiana’s Purdue University, with potentially more collaboration on the way with other Big Ten schools. As planned, the community will have 231 units, and it will be housed at a 400-acre, on-campus mixed-use development called Discovery Park District, which is planned to include care facilities from health system Ascension along with other apartments and condos. A groundbreaking is expected in January of next year.

Varcity at Purdue will open with an array of features and intergenerational components that include a ground-floor space where residents can mingle with students and faculty or attend events or meetings. Other planned amenities include an early childhood education center, green spaces and pickleball courts, a learning center, university ID cards for residents and opportunities to enroll in classes free of charge. Residents also will have the ability to teach or mentor students.


McNair expects the community’s villas, townhomes and apartments will house residents in their mid-60s to mid-80s, and the community will make wellness services available for anyone of any age.

The community isn’t just located on a university campus, it’s also being designed and conceived with help from Purdue students and faculty, according to McNair Living Managing Principal and COO Les Strech.

The Varcity model is noteworthy as it represents a new innovative spin on the university-based retirement community blueprint, and the Purdue project essentially represents its proof of concept. It is also backed by research and data showing the various components of a successful university-senior living partnership, Strech told Senior Housing News.

What McNair and the university do in this project could very well help take university-based senior housing into its next evolution in the years to come, especially if Varcity branches out to other schools in the near future.

Rendering of Varcity at Purdue; via Purdue University

Priya Living’s first international project

Priya Living is taking its forward-thinking active adult approach to a new community in India.

The company is forging ahead with a Priya Living community in Gurgaon, India. The concept is based on the notion that older adults from India living in the U.S. will want to travel back home — not necessarily to live there, but to to visit with family or old friends — and that Priya will cater to them by offering them a lifestyle similar to what they could find in one of the company’s four communities in the Bay Area.

Though Priya has yet to launch the concept formally, CEO Arun Paul teased it in a LinkedIn post earlier this month, noting that the concept is a dream he is realizing 25 years in the making.

“Priya Living is coming to India to reconnect the world’s largest diaspora — our mas and babas, our masas and masis, ourselves — with our motherland. Priva Living is coming home,” Paul said in the post.

“This is the culmination of a long process — we’ve been studying the market there for some time,” Paul later added in an interview with Senior Housing News in August.

Priya Living is known in the U.S. for its playful and unique communities catering to an active affinity group. To date, the company has explored interesting concepts such as providing “attainable luxury” to residents. And although Priya is among a few operators branching out into international markets, the focus on temporary stays and ex-pats is unique and worth following.

Integrated Development’s mall redevelopment projects in Illinois

Northfield, Illinois-based Integrated Development II, along with co-investor Affinius Capital, recently unveiled plans to add senior living units at two former shopping malls in the Chicago area.

Integrated Development II’s team is no stranger to senior living development, and the firm brings a wealth of experience to the latest Chicago-area projects, with associates helping jumpstart projects including Club at Briarcliff Manor, a Senior Lifestyle community in New York; and Vi’s community in Palo Alto, California.

The mall redevelopment projects include Sophia at Fox Valley Mall and Sophia at Hawthorn Mall that will add 216 and 166 luxury senior living units, respectively, with a full care continuum of IL, AL and memory care services.

Construction is expected to start at Sophia at Fox Valley in 2024 and Sophia at Hawthorn Mall remains pending building permits and additional financing structure.

Both projects share similar design elements with a goal of promoting intergenerational connections and offering mixed-use spaces located in Aurora and Vernon Hills, Illinois, playing into the larger theme of operators considering new ways of integrating the public within their respective communities, as seen by operators going on in on redevelopment projects or building partnerships with local universities.

The senior living units are part of a larger redevelopment effort that will integrate retail, dining and outdoor spaces for the public alongside senior living residents, with an additional goal of adding multi-family units in phases at both sites.

Integrated Development II / SAS

Galerie Living’s next Corso community, Druid Hills

Galerie Living has made a name for itself in the luxury senior living space with its high-end Corso brand. Now, the company is forging ahead on a new community that will innovate and build on the brand, potentially taking luxury to an even higher level.

The company’s first Corso community — Corso Atlanta — won awards for its Parisian-themed design. Now, Galerie is building on that momentum with its next Corso project, Corso Druid Hills, which it is developing on approximately 32 acres on a 42-acre property owned by Emory University also known as “Briarcliff.”

As planned, the community is slated to have 500 units in a mixture of cottages, independent living, assisted living and memory care. Planned amenities include an art studio, tasting room, tea house, bistro, creperie, library, multiple lounges, dining venues and community areas, a rooftop terrace lounge, flower shop, salon and a spa and wellness clinic.

Galerie is also bringing the “Corso touch” to the property by integrating with the Druid Hills neighborhood and surrounding community and restoring the historic Briarcliff Mansion for use as a multi-purpose space. Customer service and hospitality underpins the Corso model, which for some units carries monthly rates around $12,000.

“I promise you, there is a market for ultra-luxury in every major city in this country,” Galerie CEO Tim Gary said during a 2022 appearance on SHN+ TALKS. “We should be developing as fast as we can go.”

That “as fast as we can go” growth also includes a new Corso community coming together near Washington D.C. in a former 4-H headquarters in Chevy Chase, Maryland.

Given the fast rise of luxury senior living across the U.S., the senior living industry should keep an eye on Galerie and its Corso brand — either as new potential competitors or a source of inspiration for ways to elevate the senior living hospitality experience.

Corso Druid Hills; courtesy Galerie Living

Senior Living Development’s office complex redevelopment

In recent years, the senior living industry has looked to adaptive reuse as an avenue for creative growth while development remains tough. Hotel redevelopment projects were an early growth strategy for some operators, but a variety of headwinds have made those projects much harder to pencil out in 2023.

That doesn’t mean the adaptive reuse projects have halted, however. Instead, the companies behind those projects are looking to other property types for redevelopment.

One such project is poised to come together on a 17-acre site in Trumbull, Connecticut called “River’s Edge.” The site is approved for the development of two different senior living properties: One with 193 units of independent living, assisted living and memory care; and another active adult project with 147 units on an adjacent site.

Co-locating senior housing is not new, but what makes the project unique is that these communities are coming together in a sprawling office complex that at one time housed the headquarters of United Healthcare subsidiary Oxford Health Plans.

Behind the concept is Senior Living Development, a firm led by Mark De Pecol, who is also the CEO of middle-market operator KindCare. De Pecol told Senior Housing News earlier this year that the site is well-suited for adaptive reuse given its particulars.

Although projects like River’s Edge represent just one component of the adaptive reuse trend, creative projects like these will no doubt continue to attract senior living companies as development remains hard and interest rates are stuck.

SHN reporter Austin Montgomery also contributed to this article.

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